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MoshuluBad service

After literally two years of planning my son's Bar Mitzvah at Moshulu in Philadelphia the event was marred not only by what occurred the night of the party but by the subsequent attack on my character by a Partner, Bill Bergan.

The night of my son's Bar Mitzvah and the day after when I met with another Partner, Jake, I was lead to believe that I would be financially compensated for problems that occurred during my event but when I spoke to Bill Bergan the following Tuesday I was told that everything went as planned, my guests ate too much, I was cheap, I was lying about various things that occurred, and that he was embarrassed that we had acquaintances in common. He went on to say that my affair would forever leave a bad taste in his mouth.

So, I am left with sharing my story in hopes that no one else experiences what I went through or is subjected to an attack like I experienced in my conversation with Bill Bergan.

A week prior to the event, upon hearing that the weather could be bad that night, I contacted Moshulu to discuss contingency planning since much of the party was to occur outside. I also asked about ventilation given the humidity. I was reassured that they do this all the time and that I had nothing to worry about with regard to rain or ventilation. I called back a few more times during the week just to make sure that weather would not be an issue and was reassured by two separate people that I had nothing to worry about.

At my last meeting I was joined by my sister and reviewed the final costs and saw that I was being charged for guest parking. I reminded, my contact, that per our previous conversations I would not be paying for that. She assured me that she would remove the charge and provide a final bill the night of the party or would mail it to me. After leaving I reviewed the charges one more time and saw that I was being double billed for an item. I called and again reminded my contact about removing the parking charge. I was assured that it would be taken care of. My sister heard both conversations. Since up till this point everything had gone so smoothly, I was not concerned.

Five minutes before my son's Bar Mitzvah service I received a call from Moshulu saying that they needed to move my party to another area on the ship. I was shocked since I had been repeatedly told that the weather would not be an issue. They recommended an alternative space for cocktails and for the after dinner reception and again was assured that it would accommodate my guests adequately. My agreement for the party was to have two separate areas for cocktails - one for the adults and one for the children. However, due to the issues described I was forced to combine both groups together in the same area.

While driving from the synagogue to Moshulu I received a call from a guest at 8:20 indicating that the Moshulu staff was not allowing people into the party as they were not ready. My party was scheduled to begin at 8:00. The party did not begin until approximately 8:30.

When I pulled in to park, I was told that the host, who was me, had paid for parking. Upon entering Moshulu I immediately informed them that I had NOT agreed to pay for parking.

I went to join my guests for cocktails and found that the area being used was incredibly crowded and hot. I was actually concerned for my guests safety as there was only one exit and not everyone had arrived. It was so uncomfortable that people left the area and moved down into the dining area which was supposed to be closed until dinner.

I then had to figure out where folks would go to dance after dinner since the cocktail area, where guests were to return to after dinner due to the weather, clearly wasn't big enough for the entire party to stand let alone dance.

While trying to figure out logistics I noticed that a group of waiters were standing together and that there were no hors d'oeuvres being circulated. I was told that they had no more. I had ordered what was recommended by Moshulu. When ordering I had asked if I had enough hors d'oeuvres on order I was assured that they do this all the time and I didn't have to worry about having enough.

Finally, after missing about an hour and a half of this momentous event the staff agreed that the original location I had contracted for the dancing could be used. I had provided a floorplan to Moshulu for how this area should be furnished and where the food should be placed so as to maximize the area for dancing.

I then joined my party hoping that everything else would go as planned.

The party now moved to the dining room. Moshulu set up everything as expected. To be honest the Orchid room was beautiful. I and the DJ had been assured that they would take care of the set up for the video including testing. When I entered the room I asked whether the video had been tested and was assured that it had. Unfortunately Moshulu had neglected to tell the DJ or me that they were not going to handle the audio so my video, which I had spent weeks on, was not run with sound.

I had hired entertainment to play piano during dinner. He was recommended to me by Moshulu. Because the party was running an hour behind when his time was up, he left - so no piano during dinner. I also hired dancers who had to be paid extra due to the delay in when they would be able to perform.

On a minor note, the challah, which was bought for the occasion was never served to my guests.

After dinner, when we moved on deck for dancing (an hour later than my timeline called for), to my dismay, the dance floor was not arranged as agreed to on the floorplan . The reason this was so important is that I had wanted to maximize the space for dancing and not have people crossing the dance floor to get drinks or dessert. Approximately 50% more deck space would have been utilized had the floorplan been followed. The bar on deck was not set up and separate bars were placed on the dance floor.

In the agreement with Moshulu it requires 20% gratuity. I had no problem with this but did discuss that since I was paying a gratuity there should be no tip jars on the bars and that the bartenders should not be accepting tips since it was already paid for in our agreement. I was again assured that I had nothing to worry about. Therefore, I was shocked when I went to get a drink and found cash resting on the bar clearly indicating that the bartenders were accepting.

When I first got to Moshulu around 8:30 and spoke to a Partner at Moshulu he said I could extend the party past 1:00 a.m. At 12:30 a.m. I went looking for my contact to discuss this. I was told that she had left for the evening as had the other person I had been dealing with and therefore I did not extend the party or the DJ. At 1:00 a.m. I happened to be standing by the bar and asked for a diet coke or water. The bartender said they were already shut down. I recall commenting on how exact they were about ending the party at 1. I bring this up because among the things Bill accused me of lying about is this. He contended that the party was extended.

Moshulu had committed to valet parking and the valet staff left at midnight forcing guests to seek out assistance in getting their keys/cars.

The folks there that night tried everything they could to make things right. Amy was an angel throughout the process and with the exception of the error with the parking was a pleasure to deal with over the course the planning process. Jake was amazing and incredibly reassuring the night of the party but it seems that Bill has a different view of how to handle these things.

I can't imagine that anyone who was there that night or who reads this would not think that I was due some sort of compensation. I have two sons and this was my last big blow out which I planned down to the smallest detail (I provided floor plans for each room, timing details, excel spread sheets, etc. ). Truly, had I been given the opportunity to discuss a contingency while I wouldn't have been thrilled I would have worked with Moshulu to figure out the best option available.

In the end, it is what it is, but the fact the Moshulu takes no responsibility for what occurred is just wrong which is why I am sharing my story.

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